Every couple desires a healthy and happy marriage – but how do you nurture a relationship on a daily basis?
It’s inevitable. You’re scrolling through Facebook during downtime at work or when the kids are napping. Picture after picture you see it – flowers sent to work offices, little gifts presented in the morning, fancy, romantic dinners out – the ultimate display of affection that’s supposed to show a healthy and happy marriage.
It’s the over-commercialized, romanticized, extravagant play of “love” that gets blown up on social media every year. It’s the outward display of romantic love that our culture has tricked couples into believing as a representation of their relationship. It’s the expectation that “something special” must occur to demonstrate how much you love someone.
I’ll be frank – Valentine’s Day has more often than not been a contentious date in our house. My husband and I have different love languages, and this is a time where that becomes very apparent! For years, this day would end in tears and frustrations. I had one vision of how we could spend the day; he had another. We didn’t agree on our perspective of this one particular day.
Eventually I realized that romance wasn’t to be saved for one day. I was putting so much value into one day that I was missing out on the real acts of love my husband was showing me – through his daily actions.
How To Have a Happy and Healthy Marriage!
Romance at home for married couples and connecting daily with your spouse is something that can happen daily, not just on Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t look like romance – there’s nothing big, flashy, or expensive about this kind of demonstrative love. It is, however, much more meaningful and valuable than a fancy dinner or flowers. These tips for romance at home can strengthen and deepen your love for one another. These actions aren’t complicated or life-altering. If you really think about it, they are small acts of love that are easily forgotten. But they are important for a healthy and happy marriage that truly communicate what love is!
1. Say “Good Morning” with a smile.
What better way to start the day than making your spouse feel like the most important person in the world?! Show your spouse how happy you are that you get to wake up next to them with a smile. It makes a huge difference as you start your day. Don’t just roll out of bed and head to the bathroom grumpily. Be thankful for the life-long partner God has given you to share every morning with. A smile and loving “Good Morning” tells that to your lover.
2. Say I Love You, more than once.
My husband is so incredible about doing this; I will admit, I am not the best. He is constantly telling me he loves me. He says it so often he thinks he’s annoying me sometimes – which I promise you, is NOT true! I have never once questioned his love and faithfulness, even in our hard times. I, on the other hand, am not the most verbally or physically deonstrative person and need to improve on this! Hearing your spouse say “I love you” multiple times throughout the day softens your heart and mind, no matter what kind of day you are having. If you don’t see your spouse very much due to work schedules, then use technology and text them! It’s such a simple, expected part of a relationship but one that often gets neglected.
“Hearing your spouse say “I love you” multiple times throughout the day softens your heart and mind”
3. Kiss goodbye and hello.
Again, this is a habit my husband is way better at than I am! He shows me every day that I am the most important person to him by kissing me goodbye as he leaves for work. When he walks back through that door hours later, the first thing he does is kiss me hello. It shows me, and my children, his eagerness and happiness to be coming home to me.
4. Send a text message.
Most couples are apart for most of the day, which can make it difficult to connect with one another. Sending at least one text message a day is an easy way to prioritize your relationship and let your spouse know they are on your mind. My husband loves to send funny GIFS every now and then; it makes me laugh and brings joy to my heart knowing he is thinking of me.
Think about how often you and your spouse just…HUG. Our lives can be so fast-paced, even in the home. There are chores to be done, meals to cook, children to raise, schoolwork to be done, activities to attend, and work meetings to make. Sometimes it can feel like my husband and I are just passing each other by through the door. He comes in, I go out and limited interaction takes place. Take a few minutes to purposefully stop one another in the hall or the kitchen, and hug one another. Spend those few seconds in each other’s arms and wordlessly tell one another that you are in this life TOGETHER.
6. Pray together.
This really should be #1, but I went in order of the day! Pray, pray, pray! This small act of coming together, holding hands, and coming before our Lord in prayer is a vital part of your daily connection in marriage. A marriage can’t truly be healthy and happy if husband and wife aren’t in prayer together. There is nothing like this union of faith that will nurture and grow your love towards one another.
7. Say thank you.
It’s easy to take our spouse’s habitual daily actions of love for granted when they happen all the time. A simple thank you can make the most mundane task like washing dishes or folding laundry that much better. Acknowledgement of your spouse’s work and/or kind acts will help make that person feel appreciated and loved.
8. Do chores.
Speaking of washing dishes and folding laundry…do chores! Housework, in our opinion, is not the sole responsibility of one person. Doing chores together and helping out equally around the house fosters a sense of unity and togetherness. Combined with the habit of saying “thank you”, this daily action will make BOTH partners happy!
9. Ask about his/her day.
Most couples don’t get to spend their days together. They are lucky if they have a few hours in each other’s company. So really, couples don’t know how their spouse’s day went unless information is volunteered or you ASK. And I don’t just mean the usual “How-was-your-day-Fine-How-was-yours” exchange. Rather, ask a few specific questions that will let your spouse know that you really do care about them.
10. Eat a meal together as a family.
A huge part of marriage is raising a family together. Sitting down, together, as a family is so important for the kids AND for you and your spouse. This is a challenge for our family, as my husband has meetings at night and I coach swimming in the evenings. We have moved dinnertime up to an earlier hour, 4:30-5pm, so we can sit down together as often as possible. While it can be a frustrating time trying to get kids to eat and stay seated, we usually make eye contact and smile. This is our family that God has blessed us with. Family meals allow that chance to come together for just a little time and interact as a family unit.
11. Pray as a family.
I feel so much love for my husband when we sit down as a family at the end of the day and say our prayers. I feel incredibly thankful that I have been blessed with a man of God that cares for the spiritual well-being of his family. These quick moments praying with our kids unifies us as a family and as husband and wife.
12. Put the kids to bed together.
If you’ve battled bedtime by yourself just even once, you will understand this one! Tackling bedtime with kids (especially 5 of them!) is inexplicably one of the most frustrating parts of the day in parenting. Between multiple bathroom visits, pleas for water, or just the never-ending getting-out-of-bed routines, our patience level is at its low point for the day. Taking on bedtime together once again gives you that feeling of partnership with your spouse. My husband and I have found that we help keep each other calm during this inevitably frustrating experience!
13. Have a conversation.
Now I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at me on this one, but hear me out. Yes, we talk to our spouses. Bu that’s just it – we talk TO them but many times we don’t purposefully converse WITH them. Having a good conversation with your partner can make you feel much more connected. Connection and mutual understanding is the foundation for romance. Is it flashy and exciting? Of course not. We are building a marriage to last the decades, not just for the night. A building block of concrete looks dull and boring on the outside, but look at what it can do! Houses are built upon it! The same goes for these habits, which are the building blocks for a healthy and happy marriage.
14. Go to bed together.
This can be challenging, I’ll admit. Alternating work schedules or even just different sleep habits have couples going to bed at different times. The act of going to bed is the closing of the day, and what better way to finish another day than with your spouse. I always feel at odds when either myself or my husband go to bed separately. If one of us isn’t tired, we will go to bed together but that person will either read or watch something. But we are in the same room together and that makes us feel connected.
15. Let your last words be “I Love You”.
Just as you should start the day with a smile and a “Good Morning”, every day should end with these three little words. What better thing to hear before you close your eyes in sleep than your lover once again declaring his/her love for you. The response, “I love you too” will inevitably end with a kiss (…and maybe something more…) and the mutual feeling of the secure, deep love that God intended for marriage.
Make it worth it.
Think for a moment how often you could do these 15 actions towards your spouse. You can and should do them every day! But often we forget to give that good-bye kiss or say “I love you”. Before we realize it, the romance is gone from our relationship and we are left wondering how to get our healthy and happy marriage back. These small, simple habits encourage us to think about our spouse, rather than ourselves. They help create that selfless spirit every healthy relationship needs.